NLEX gets first test in life without Kiefer Ravena in game against winless Blackwater
NLEX resumes its campaign without Kiefer Ravena as the rookie sits out 18 months for a drug violation. Jerome Ascano

KIEFER Ravena doesn’t intend to suit up for NLEX when PBA action resumes, even as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) seeks clarification on the scope of the 18-month Fiba doping ban.

NLEX takes on Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, and the Road Warriors look to come up with a big game without their prized rookie.

“Fiba has been lenient. Nabawasan na nga ‘yung sintensya, kapag pinilit ko, baka mapasama pa,” Ravena said. “With the help of Commissioner Willie (Marcial), we are working hand in hand. We are trying our best to make this easier for me and for everybody.”

The ban is a huge blow to the Road Warriors, already struggling in the midseason conference, in 10th place with a 1-4 record while dealing with the knee injury that sidelined Kevin Alas. They dropped their last game before the All-Star break against Globalport.


The Road Warriors have made changes before the Ravena ban, trading Rabeh Al-Hussaini to Blackwater in exchange for Dave Marcelo, who will be playing against his former team on Wednesday.

The Elite, on the other hand, are winless in six games and hope to get a boost with the return of former NBA player Henry Walker, replacing Jarrid Famous.

In the second game at 7 p.m., reigning champion San Miguel eyes its first win when the Beermen face the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

The Beermen have dropped their first three games, bowing to Alaska in their last match before the break.

Phoenix won its last match before the All star break, beating Barangay Ginebra in double overtime.

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